Yves Montand plays himself in this musical romantic comedy by Jacques Demy. Demy and Michel Legrand wrote the songs with Montand in mind as a tribute to the famous French singer and actor in his most celebrated roles. Choreography is provided by Michael Peters for the many background dancers who hoof it around Montand, with set designs by Bernard Evein. Mathilde May plays Montand’s love interest, a young singer who becomes a star when she takes the place of the diva who backs out weeks before opening night. —IMDb
Born in 1931 in the seaport city of Nantes, Jacques Demy experienced a happy childhood. The son of an auto mechanic, Demy’s love for cinema inspired him to make home movies in 8mm. He would work as an apprentice to animator Paul Grimault and later as assistant to film-maker Georges Rouquier before starting his own career by directing a series of shorts. Le bel indifférent (1957) was an adaptation of a play by Jean Cocteau, notable for marking the start of his lifelong collaboration with art director Bernard Evein. The film’s use of color and sophistication of technique gained favorable notice from Jean-Luc Godard in the pages of Cahiers du Cinéma; the magazine that served as the organ of the French New Wave. Demy would share with the New Wave a love for American genre films, specifically the musicals of Vincente Minnelli and Stanley Donen. Another important influence was the films of Max Ophüls, to whom he would dedicate his first feature Lola.
Made in 1961, Lola’s playful approach… read more